Art Forum

Art Forum is the Victorian College of the Arts' series of weekly talks by leading artists and curators. Providing a rich insight into their work and its relationship with the world, each guest speaker shares the themes, processes and ideas that drive their practice.

Upcoming Art Forums

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Rachel Button sees her videos and sculptural installations as located somewhere between a school play and a science diorama. Nicholas Mullaly’s dreamy paintings are informed by queer approaches to ecology and to meaning making. Nabila Nordin’s sculptures embrace the notion of the purposeful accident. Her brightly coloured, heavily textured forms allude to a playful and rigorous excess. Despite the disparate nature of the practices, Button, Mullaly and Nordin, all feature in the exhibition Be My Once in a Lifetime, opening soon at the Fiona and Sidney Myer Gallery.

Raphaela (Rosie) Rosella is an Australian artist working at the intersections of socially engaged art and long-form documentary practice. Rosella has spent over a decade co-creating photo-based projects alongside women in her life (who she identifies in her practice as co-creators), including her identical twin, stepsister, and new and old friends from across several communities. Rosella’s artistic practice draws heavily on relational exchanges and a collaborative ethos to resist bureaucratic representations (e.g., case files and criminal records) by presenting everyday stories of women’s connectedness, belonging and kinship. This has resulted in a co-created archive of photographic works, video works, sound recordings, state-issued documents, criminal indexes and ephemera. Rosella and her co-creators seek to highlight the intimate dimensions of their lived experiences and unveil the interlocking structural systems, institutions, relentless bureaucratic process and violent histories that maintain the Prison Industrial Complex. Thus, their interests have shifted, to consider more deeply, the value of their co-created 'counter archive' as a site of resistance.

Based in Askeaton, County Limerick, Ireland, Sean Lynch has a multi-media practice that positions him somewhere between artist and storyteller. Revealing unwritten stories, forgotten histories, extracting alternative readings of place, events and artefacts through his works he refers to a contemporary form of the Irish Bardic tradition. Lynch’s major public art project ‘Distant Things Appear Suddenly Near’ commissioned by the City of Melbourne, combines architectural reconstruction, elements from the city’s history of public art, and a variety of found objects referencing urban Melbourne.

Hannah Gartside makes sculptures, installations and performances. Characteristically sensual and poetic, her works transform found fabrics and clothing to articulate experiences and sensations of longing, tenderness, care and desire. Gartside works with worn, collected fabrics, applying cutting and sewing processes from costume-making and quilting disciplines to create works that embody the rich history and memory of used garments. Her major installation on show, as part of Primavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney is a suite of kinetic textile sculptures that honour iconic female figures of the past. Hannah is a Graduate of the Bachelor of Arts and Honours programs at the VCA.

Chantal Faust is Professor of Contemporary Art and Head of Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art in London, where she has been based since 2010. From 2003-2009 she was a lecturer in Critical and Theoretical Studies at the VCA where she also completed her BFA Photography (Hons), MFA and PhD in Fine Art (2009). An artist and writer interested in absurdity and haptic aesthetics, her scanning, performance, painting, video and installation works have been exhibited at venues including Gallery TOM Tokyo, Freud Museum London, Heide Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Australia, West Bund Art Centre Shanghai and Lychee One London.

Helen Johnson is an artist based in Naarm/Melbourne. Solo exhibitions include Pieces of Work at Château Shatto, Los Angeles, 2021; Agency at Pilar Corrias, London, 2019; Ends at the New Museum, New York, 2017; and Warm Ties at the ICA, London, Chapter Arts House, Cardiff and Artspace, Sydney, 2017-18. Alongside Judy Watson, Johnson currently has work on display in The red thread of history: Loose ends at the NGA in Canberra. In 2015 she published Painting is a Critical Form, developed from a PhD in Fine Art completed at Monash University. She is currently studying a Master of Art Therapy at Latrobe University.

Kent Wilson is known for contemporary curatorial practice, research-oriented engagement and a collaborative style. He co-founded Kyneton Contemporary Inc and co-directs the Kyneton Contemporary Art Triennial. His recent role as Senior Curator at La Trobe University's Art Institute saw him conceive, develop and deliver programming that pushed the parameters of gallery settings. Multi-site exhibitions that put context-sensitivity and artist-led philosophies at the core of process are a particular interest. Kent has produced exhibitions in public and private institutions, written for online and print publication, and sat on funding and assessment panels. He is also an artist, having graduated with a PhD from Monash University, and has exhibited in commercial, artist-run and public galleries.

Born in the province of Wardak, close to Kabul in Afghanistan in 1992 and living and working in Berlin, Germany Hazara works across mediums such as photography, video, sound, text and multimedia installations. Hazara’s work emerges from a deep interest in issues around memory, the archive, surveillance, the panopticon and the politics of representation. Although much of his work is deeply entrenched in the never-ending conflicts in Afghanistan, it is not bound by geographical specificities and appeals to a contemporary condition that is globally shared. In 2021 Hazara was the winner of the Future Generation Art Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious prizes for artists under 35 years. Aziz’z solo exhibition, I am looking for you like a drone my love is currently on show at the Fiona and Sidney Myer Gallery.

Dr Melentie Pandilovski is a phenomenologist, art theorist/historian and curator. His research which includes over 200 curated exhibitions and numerous publications, examines the links between art, culture, science and technology. His recent roles include Director of Experimenta Media Arts in Melbourne, Director of Riddoch Art Gallery in Mount Gambier, Director of Video Pool Media Arts Centre in Winnipeg, Canada, Director of the Visual Cultural Research Centre, Euro-Balkan Institute in Skopje, Macedonia, Director of the Experimental Art Foundation in Adelaide, Australia and the Contemporary Arts Centre in Skopje, Macedonia.

Previous Art Forums

From 26 March 2020, previous Art Forums can be viewed in the below playlist.

Supported by

Holding Redlich - Firm | Best Lawyers

The Victorian College of the Arts is grateful to Holding Redlich for its generous support of Art Forum.

Melbourne Reconciliation Network

Art Forum Semester Two is co-presented with the Melbourne Reconciliation Network.